UBCO ranked first heading into the playoffs

With provincials on their home floor still two weeks away, both UBC Okanagan volleyball squads are in the driver’s heading into the BCCAA championship.

With provincials on their home floor still two weeks away, both UBC Okanagan volleyball squads are in the driver’s heading into the BCCAA championship.

The Heat men and women will be the tops seeds in their respective divisions after closing out the regular season in first place with identical 13-1 records.

Greg Poitras’ No.1 nationally-ranked men’s squad dumped visiting Camosun on Friday 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 18-25, 25-17). Veteran setter Preston Tucker was the Heat’s player of the game with 38 assists, four digs and four blocks.

On Saturday, the Heat took down VIU 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-19) as Chris Howe was named the player of the match. It was a productive return to the lineup for Howe, the 6-foot-6 middle who has been sidelined since before the first semester break with an injury.

“It’s great to have Chris back,” said starting libero Spencer Brown. “He brings a lot of energy to the game.”

In women’s action, Saturday’s matchup was a showdown for top spot between thge Heat and VIU.

The Heat delivered the goods with a 3-1 win over VIU, avenging a loss to the Mariners prior to Christmas. Jill Festival was the Heat’s player of the match with eight kills, nine digs and one assist.

The victory came in front of the largest and loudest crowd of the season.

“It’s great to hear (the fans) cheering you, supporting you,” Festival said after the game. 

It was an emotional weekend for the Heat and veteran Caitlin Nyhus who was playing in the final regular season matches of her five-year career.

On Seniors’ Night Friday, Nyhus had 24 assists, three aces and four digs as UBCO beat Camosun 3-0. The Heat men and two-time defending champion Heat women will host the BCCAA championship Feb. 24 to 26 at UBCO.

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